Three San Jose State University students skated on hate crime charges but were found guilty of battery after they placed a bike lock around fellow student Donald Williams, Jr’s neck. The three students, Colin Warren, Logan Beaschler and Joseph “Brett” Bomgardner, all of whom are under 21, not only placed the clamp on Williams’ neck, but taunted him with the N-word, while also drawing the confederate flag in their room.
I am saddened that 12 jurors could not agree that calling a black male ‘Three-fifths’ or ‘Fraction,’ or forcing a lock around his neck, or creating an environment promoting racism with Confederate memorabilia, or hearing how this young man was humiliated, amounted to a hate crime. This verdict demonstrates that we are a long way from living in a post-racist America.
One of the men was found not guilty of a hate crime, and the jury was deadlocked on the charges for the other two. Bomgardner says he played a very light rile in the incident, while Beaschler and Warren are set to be sentenced on their battery convictions March 14. They face 6 months to 1 year in jail.